Petr Ptacek will get his 2020 racing season underway in January after confirming he will travel to New Zealand to contest the five-round Castrol Toyota Racing Series.
The highly-rated 17-year-old made his debut in the single-seater championship at the beginning of 2019 and will make a return in 2020 as he looks to get some valuable seat time during the European winter.
Petr, who is supported by Parmigiani Fleurier, will join 19 of the world’s best other young drivers on the Toyota Racing Series grid and will take the wheel of the series’ brand-new Toyota-powered FT-60 chassis for the first time when the competitive action kicks off at Highlands Motorsport Park on 17-19 January.
He will drive an mtec Motorsport-entered car that will be engineered by R-ace GP.
“I’m definitely excited to be heading back out to New Zealand to go racing again,” Petr said. “I met some amazing people in the Toyota Racing Series last season and it was great to experience a new country, different circuits and to go up against other drivers from different championships across the world.
“I think it’s important to learn whenever you have the opportunity and it’s definitely a good feeling to get some racing experience before the traditional European series gets underway later in the year.”
Having raced in New Zealand last season, MindMaze-backed Petr will be able to call on that valuable insight when he returns next month. His hopes of success have also been boosted by the fact that the FT-60 is based on the same Tatuus car that he drove to a pair of podium finishes in the 2019 Formula Renault Eurocup.
“The chassis and tyres will be roughly the same as I raced on this season so I’m looking forward to that familiarity,” he explained. “I also have some experience from last year in New Zealand.
“But I know the competition will still be very tough. There will be a lot of guys returning and there are others that have a lot more experience than me. I’ll need to be at my best and to work well with my team.
“But I like it like that because it’s a big motivation for me. I will be pushing and learning as much as I can from the very first round because I want to work and improve myself and the car as much as I can. That’s the only way I know how to go racing.”
Petr’s 2020 Castrol Toyota Racing Series schedule
17-19 January – Highlands Motorsport Park, Cromwell
24-26 January – Teretonga Park, Invercargill
1-2 February – Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, Waikato
7-9 February – Pukekohe Park, Pukekohe
15-16 February – Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon, Feilding